OCC Defends Dual Banking System

Since 1863, the OCC has supervised national banks to ensure a safe, sound and competitive banking system, according to Kevin Mukri, spokesperson for the department. The office follows one uniformed set of federal regulations in all 50 states, and it's up to the consumer to choose whether they want to deal with a national or state bank when they take out a mortgage loan.

"States can pass laws on behalf of their banks. We don't want any part in that," Mr. Mukri said. "But by the same token, we are the sole regulators of the national banking system. The difference allows you to have a choice. 'Which am I more comfortable with? What can they offer me?' That creates competition between banks, it keeps costs and services low, which ultimately benefits the consumers."

Mr. Mukri advises consumers to visit the OCC website where information is listed about actions they have taken against national banks and the office also has a toll-free number.

"We're here to help. We're very public about what we do, and we take no back seat to anybody on that. If you like what state banks offer, that's your choice. That's what America is all about."

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